A gorgeous sight from a part of Japan that isn’t on many travelers’ itineraries.

One of the key tenets of the Shinto faith is that divinity is found in all aspects of nature. Whether that happens to align with your personal beliefs or not, the basis for the philosophy isn’t hard to see when you take in the breathtaking natural surroundings of some Shinto shrines.

Here with an excellent example is Japanese Twitter user @yuiphoto2, who recently shared a photo of a shrine with such tranquil splendor that it’s almost hard to believe it could exist in our mortal world.

“A mystical pond in Ibaraki [Prefecture],” tweeted @yuiphoto2 with the photo, keeping the description brief so as not to get in the way of the thousand words-worth picture. Aside from its perfect green backdrop, there’s a certain spiritual quality to the torii gate rising out of the water, with a koi swimming nearby.

There’s so much captivating beauty that you might not initially notice that at some point since the torii was constructed, a large tree appears to have tipped over onto it. But rather than snap or crush the top beam, the tree is now resting there, with a few additional wooden supports put in place to help gently hold its weight and restore a harmonious balance to everything.

So where exactly is this place? The pond of Kashima Shrine, in the town of Kashima. It’s pretty easy to get to, as it’s only about a 10-minute walk from Kashima Jinja Station, itself about a two-hour-and-fifteen-minute ride from Tokyo Station. With Ibaraki itself not being the most populous part of Japan, Kashima still retains a certain small-town feel despite its population of around 67,000 people, and the shrine occupies a leafy forested plot of land.

Plus, if you time your visit to Ibaraki just right, you can swing by the park that turns an amazing shade of red every fall too.

Source: Twitter/@yuiphoto2 via IT Media
Top image: Wikipedia/Saigen Jiro
Insert image: Twitter/@yuiphoto2
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